1. He doesn’t always have your name (or your real name) in his phone.
Do you ever get the feeling you’re getting the written response equivalent of “Oh, hey … you…”? It’s because he didn’t put your name in his contacts. This is partially because putting your name in his phone basically means you're dating. It’s the millennial version of him asking you to go steady.
2. He talks about your texts with friends.
To be clear, he’s not hunched over a coffee in some cafe with his inner circle of guy friends analyzing every word like this is some rom-com. The conversation goes like this: “I can’t tell if she wants to have sex with me or not,” and then his friend responds, “Totally,” or, “Nah.” And then the words disappear into the ether, carried away on the wind as quickly as they came.
3. He sometimes waits a long time to respond for no reason.
Why? Who knows. Frankly, it’s a move that’s getting a little played out. It’s unnecessary and cumbersome, like not being allowed to eat a three-course meal with your hands. But at the same time, he knows that because of the expectations in place, if he texts you too early, you’ll know he’s into you. Which could scare you off, aka his biggest texting fear.
4. Yes, he is aware he is funnier and charming over DMs than in real life.
Texting is easy, especially in the beginning. A conversation that seems witty and impulsive might have had several revisions before he hits send. Therefore it should come as approximately no surprise that he's not able to be this calculated and cool when you're actually face to face, and he's distracted by seeing a human at the other end and not a screen.
5. No, he’s not actually too busy to text.
He might be moderately busy but at the same time, he can put a moment aside throughout the day to respond. Unless he’s a heart surgeon doing a five-hour transplant, he’s just playing kind of distant. He might be straight-up lazy, he might be trying to look cool, or he honestly might not be super interested. Either way, look out for guys who have their shit together enough to reply in a timely manner.
6. He knows there is literally nothing subtle about sending nudes but that might not stop him.
I’m not condoning asking for nudes or sending dick pix by any means. But it’s a roulette wheel and he figures there just might be a shot. Either you hate it, and he can apologize and move on, or you like it, and he’s in. Even it works for him 1 out of 100 times, he’s getting good mileage out of it. But this is an instance where you can hate the player and the game.
7. He also knows his grammar is awful.
He may act like it’s NBD when he uses the wrong “you’re,” but he feels woefully inadequate every time you correct his spelling.
8. He has no idea what he’s doing when he’s sending a string of emojis.
It’s a smokescreen. It’s a way for him to respond without responding, the text message equivalent of “the sound of one hand clapping.” Don’t bother trying to decipher it. Treat it like someone saying “lol” or “haha” or “ok.” It is an enthusiastic acknowledgement of your message.
9. He’s literally never “just getting out of the shower.”
OK, it might not be a lie, but there’s also no reason for him to bring that up unless he wants you to text him, “prove it.”
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.